The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life that never realized its full potential. You must decide today not to rob the world of the rich, valuable, potent, untapped resources locked away within you. It has been said that the wealthiest place on earth is not in bank vaults, Fort Knox, or underneath Bill Gates mattress. No, the wealthiest place on earth is the cemetery.
Beneath the gravestones lie so many dreams that went unfulfilled; so much potential that was never realized; so much purpose that was never discovered and manifested. I am reminded of the poignant verses of Tagore in the Gitangali:
The song that I came to sing remains
unsung to this day.
I have spent my days in stringing and in
unstringing my instrument.
I actually got goose bumps the first time I read Tagore’s words. I vowed at that moment that my song would not go unsung. Whatever contribution I was to make to this world would be made before I came to rest in that wealthy domain we spoke of earlier. I can also say that my song continues, with new lines, verses and melodies as my life unfolds. For this, I am ever grateful.
It is vital that every person understand that we are responsible for developing the potential stored within us. We must deepen our contact with our divine potential, which I call our Sacred Mind, and do all that we can to nurture, feed, and actualize our true potential. Further, we must recognize that as we move forward in developing our optimal potential, we can never afford to stop. In essence, when we travel the metaphysical journey, we are either moving forward or backward. There is truly no place to stand on the spiritual path.
Spiritual growth is a complex subject and we could waste much time and space exploring the more arcane aspects of personal unfolding. However, I choose instead to try to keep things as simple as feasible, especially in the context of a short article. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a topic that seems to cause many sincere seekers to go off the tracks and race down many unproductive rabbit holes. I am talking here about the subject of “purpose.” The issue of purpose is intimately connected with potential and it is often difficult to talk about one without delving into the other.
Many of us are so obsessed with “finding our purpose” that we ignore more important aspects of the spiritual journey. Granted, the Creator seems to have arranged things in such a way that each of us came to this planet with a unique mission. In spite of this, however, all of us share components of a more generalized, universal purpose. In my own journey, I have come to define a central aspect of this universal purpose shared by all believers as follows:
“I must become the optimal version of myself for the glory of God and the benefit of others.”
“Well, I can’t argue with that,” you might say. “But how do I pull it off?”
Good question. Space does not permit a detailed explanation of the complete methodology of becoming the best version of yourself and, besides, I believe that each of us must find our own personal way of unfolding our divine nature. Still, I think we can look at two practical things we can do: define and visualize.
Begin by spending time developing a definition of the best version of yourself. What qualities will your highest self possess? What kind of activities will be a central part of your life and your spiritual development? How will you earn your living? And most significantly, how will you be of service to others?
Once you have a workable definition, set aside a special time each day and see this best version of yourself in your mind’s eye. See yourself manifesting the qualities described in your definition, engaging in the activities you listed, and serving in your best capacity. This exercise of your imagination is a key component of making the best version of yourself a reality.
From the outset, you must learn to consistently see the best version of yourself and your life unfolding in your inner vision. The power of the mind’s eye is uncanny. It is through our capacity of thought and inner visualization that we are capable of taking something out of the realm of the unseen and making it a reality in the realm of the seen. This requires faith: faith in yourself and your abilities; and faith in the principles of optimal cognition. If you have a problem, see it resolved; if your have a business, see it succeeding; if you have a dream, see it unfolding according to your desire.
Let this positive image become a part of yourself, sinking down into the subconscious mind and your inner spirit, the central core of yourself.
A fundamental principle of Positive Psychology states that whatever you keep before your mind’s eye will affect you, either for good or for bad. If you consistently focus on negativity and dwell on your problems, your mindset will become darker and your problems will worsen. If you focus on limitation, lack, failure, and defeat, that is the kind of life you are going to create. Instead, try focusing your mental energy on success, victory, health, abundance, peace, joy, and happiness. Our innermost spirit, which is one with the Divine Source, has as its purpose the unfolding of your greatest good. Don’t lose sight of that truth. In order to create the kind of life you want, you have to get your thoughts and your inner vision in alignment with the power and purpose of your innermost spirit, called by our Quaker brothers and sisters the “Inner Light.”
This visualization process is not a fantasy or an escape from reality. It is, instead, based on centuries of practical application and positive results and utilizes one of God’s greatest gifts: a spiritual imagination. When life presents you with problems, many times there is nothing you can do about it. However, you can have complete control over your response to any problem life sends your way. You can have greater peace of mind if you just choose to have the right kind of thoughts. Focus your entire being on finding solutions, rather than wallowing in the problems at hand. Work diligently to find your Inner Light, and when you do, continue to take proactive measures to deepen and maintain your contact with this sacred aspect of your being.
Be persistent and keep at it in a disciplined, optimistic manner. Before you know it, you will hear your song ringing up from your Sacred Mind. From that point forward your life will be more positive and meaningful. And when the day comes when you leave this world, you won’t be making a deposit in the Bank of Dead Dreams.
(c) L.D. Turner 2009/All Rights Reserved